Councilor on revising real property tax ordinance: Consider the plight of businessmen, taxpayers
CEBU CITY, Philippines — As the Local Finance Committee of Cebu City’s (LFC) executive department is currently preparing a new proposal after Mayor Michael Rama rejected the ordinance approved by the council on raising the real property tax (RPT) rates, a councilor appealed to make the proposal reasonable and not burdensome to taxpayers.
In an interview with CDN Digital on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, Councilor Noel Wenceslao, Jr., said they did not have plans to challenge or override Rama’s veto on their version of the ordinance increasing real property taxes.
He said they would just wait for the proposal that would be introduced by the mayor to the city council so that they could study it further.
According to the LFC, Wenceslao said, they would reintroduce a new revision within one to two weeks.
Rama, in a press conference on Sunday, Feb. 12, stressed that it was high time for the city to change them to ensure uninterrupted delivery of basic services and programs. The last time that the city updated its RPT rates was in 2004. Under the law, the city should update its RPT rates every three years.
READ: Rama vetoes ordinance increasing real property taxes but…
Wenceslao, however, appealed to the LFC to consider the plight of the taxpayers and businessmen on their revision of the ordinance.
“Ang ato lang hangyo sa Local Finance [Committee] nga since we are still recovering from pandemic. We are still recovering from Typhoon Odette, I hope you will also understand on the part of the taxpaying public, including us. Because the reason why we gradually increase our RPT it’s for the main reason nga it was an appeal of the taxpaying public, especially our local businessmen nga (that) during that more than 2 years of pandemic unya naigo pa jud tas Typhoon Odette, perting lisoda jud nila (and we were also hit by Typhoon Odette, it has been difficult for them),” he said.
“Ang uban, wa pa gani makaabli og balik sa ilang businesses. I hope they will also be considerate for our taxpaying public, the shoutout of tax paying public,” he added.
(The others have not even reopened their businesses. I hope they will also be considerate for our taxpaying public, the shoutout of the taxpaying public.)
The LFC, earlier, recommended to use the 2023 Fair Market Value as basis for the RPT computation.
However, the council only considered 50 percent of the current market value for tax purposes, Wenceslao said.
“Ang total revenue generation is P4.5 billion, ang katong sa amo ordinance nga gipropose. Sa P4.5 B, 1/3 of that goes to the Special Education Fund (SEF). Sa two percent nga nahibilin, ang 30 percent of the 2 percent goes to the barangays [as their share]. So the net sa City is only around P2.28 billion,” he said noting that it could be why their version did not sit well with the executive department.
(The total revenue generation is P4.5 billion, this is for our ordinance that we proposed. Of the 4.5 billion, 1/3 of that goes to the Special Education Fund (SEF). Of the two percent that were left, 30 percent of the two percent goes to the barangays [as their share]. So the net of the city is only around 2.28 billion.)
The long-overdue revision of the real property tax rates in the city is one of the major fund sources of the P50 billion budget requested by Rama and approved by the council for 2022.
Wenceslao said the new revision from the LFC would be introduced into the Council as a proposed ordinance.
It will then undergo another series of public hearings.
Asked of what could be the city’s fallback in revenue generation as the process of revising the RPT rates goes back to square one, Wenceslao mentioned the conduct of tax mapping.
“Kay daghan pa mang mga tax nga real property nga wala madeclared. So, kinahanglan mag tax mapping g’yod ang assessor. Daghan-daghan g’yod nag trabahuon. Then naa say uban nga ang gigamit sa atong city assessor pagbuhis, is based on the old tax declaration,” he said.
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